Problem: Small, winged insects are feeding on your houseplants. Solution: Thrips are at work, leaving black speckles and distorting plant parts. You may also see stippled leaves or flowers that die before opening. Control thrips with an insecticidal soap or neem oil and follow package directions.
Problem: Few or no blooms. Solution: Your flowering plant may need more light. Try giving it brighter light, such as an eastern exposure, or put it in a spot that gets more hours of light each day. Be careful not to give it direct sun, however; windows can intensify sunlight and cause leaves to burn. Orchids with few blooms may take a little more diagnosis. While they could need more light, they may also may require a drop of about 10 degrees F. between day and night temperatures. Some need a rest period between bloom cycles, when you cut back on watering and stop fertilizing. Check with a local orchid grower or nursery for more advice.
In this modern terrarium, floral designer Laurel LeMaistre used a combination of natural found material, such as birch bark and swirled branches along with petite orchid plants, and polished river stones. Orchids are a staple flower for all modern design, and their simplicity and longevity make them a perfect choice for terrarium work, says LeMaistre, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.